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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you?
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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. u.s. unemployment falls to its lowest level in two years but there is still a way to go. as the standoff continues in syria, the international community ramps up pressure on the assad regime. >> now, warmer temperatures have meant less sea ice. >> a legendary broadcast that issues the warning on climate change and the impact of it is having on our lives. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the
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globe. 8.6%. remember that figure because you will be hearing a lot of it from the white house. that is a number that unemployment fell too. this is a glimmer of good news for the u.s. economy and brings unemployment down to its lowest level in two and a half years. no wonder president obama is smiling. >> merry christmas, everyone. >> what a christmas gift the president has got. it is not exactly wonderland but getting this comfortably below 9% is a boost. the shoppers dug into their purses and stores took on extra workers to help. the result, a little economic fairy dust. mr. obama knows that the trend will not last if congress does
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not act. >> we need to keep that growth growing. that means that congress needs to extend payroll tax cuts for working americans. congress needs to renew our unemployment insurance for americans who are still out there looking for work. failure to take either of these steps would be a significant blow to our economy. >> here is the more depressing reality, the unemployment number is down in parts because of thousands of dispirited americans have given up even looking. republicans are quick to point out, 13 million are still out of work. >> the obama fee administration promised that unemployment would not exceed 8% if we passed their stimulus bill. that promise has dawned on fulfilled. >> president obama can not rest easy on one month's figures but there is a glimmer of hope and
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that is something that anyone would like to find under the christmas tree. these gains mean something and what does the administration plan to do to make sure that they get more workers back to work? we're joined by the u.s. labor secretary. i'm thrilled to have you in on a day when we have good news to report. is this the turnaround's that americans have been waiting for? >> we have to bases on a month- to-month basis. if you look back last month, the unemployment rate was 9.8%. since that time, we have seen 3 million jobs created in the private sector. we have to point out that we have a high unemployment rate but we did much better than we did in the last recession in part because of what the president set out to do by extending unemployment
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insurance and reducing payroll taxes. if we do this again, we can see the numbers coming down and job creation going out. we can see some changes. i believe that the public is on our side. >> 300,000 workers dropped out of the work force last month. some are giving up on looking for a job. >> an equally good number of people have found jobs. we did the household survey and found there are many people that have given up looking to turn to we have new enterprises and we have new jobs that are created by individuals and that will not show up for some time. that will come out in the payroll data that we have received. i am somewhat optimistic but i never made focused on job creation. >> on your christmas wish list to get those 13 million americans looking for work back into the labor force, what do
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you need to see happen? >> we need to see movement in the congress right away. we don't have time to waste at all. 1.2 million people would lose their unemployment insurance if we don't act. if we do not provide an extension, people will see an increase in their taxes. we can pay for this by actually taxing the very wealthy. most agree that is a way that we can go. >> we have seen the unemployment numbers bounce along and we know that it can sit and after the boom of the retail sales, we could see this number rise again. >> it could. looking back and of course over 20 months, you are looking at private sector jobs created. this tells you that we are on the right path that we need to do more to stimulate the
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economy. that is why we need congress to act with us, for get about partisanship, and work on a bipartisan level. thank you very much, labor secretary, hilda solis. angela merkel said that it will take years to resolve the eurozone debt crisis. she said that work has begun to create a fiscal union which will provide greater stability among countries using the european currency. president sarkozy is meeting the british prime minister david cameron to discuss a rescue plan. to syria, after nine months of the crackdown, the u.n. human rights council has voted to condemn and the abuses there. this comes as the u.s. vice- president praised the role that turkey has taken to put pressure on the assad regime. this report from istanbul.
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>> a standoff in northwestern syria. for the moment, there is no shooting. "assad, you are a coward." they chant. they are calling for more international help. nine months into the uprising, president assad's opponents cannot oust him and only he can stop the protests. his efforts have exacted a heavy human cost. >> there is widespread systematic and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by civilian authorities by acts such as killing of children, by beating or shooting during demonstrations, arbitrary
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detention, torture, and ill treatments. >> this is an emergency session of the u.n. human rights council. delegates were given a chilling report. >> our message is firm and clear, to the people of syria, the world stands by you and we will not ignore your plight in the face of ongoing violence. to the syrian government, the time has come to and the flagrant violations of the human rights of your people and to step aside so that syria can transition peacefully and democratically. >> the council passed a resolution condemning the abuses. the high commission would like them refer to the international criminal court. the report was dismissed by syria's rep. he said it lack objectivity. the u.s. is leaning on turkey to push for change in syria. vice-president joe biden was in the turkish capital today paying his respects to an earlier leader who helped this country
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to modernize. he piled praise on his turkish coast for the example that they make in the middle east. turkey has their own concerns. they fear that further unrest will destabilize their border and that thousands of refugees will join the others that have fled here. use of the turkish army to protect civilians is being rolled out for now. -- ruled out for now. >> in egypt, authorities have begun announcing the results of the first round of parliamentary elections. the muslim brotherhood is expected to win a majority but a more radical islamist party is also expected to win seats. these elections are watched very closely in washington, are there
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things that western governments might feel nervous about? >> we have only got partial results so far. this is a very respectable. the head of the electoral commission gave a rather eccentric press conference. from the information trickling out so far, it seems is that the islamists of various kinds will get around 50% of the vote. the muslim brotherhood is seen as quite moderate multiply. they are not saying that they banned alcohol or have an enforced stressed test. egypt relies heavily on their tourist track among other things. however, the more hard liners
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are schering even more liberal minded people here in egypt in many respects. it is not sure how many votes they have gotten but it could be 20%. there is quite a strong islamist vote. there is no indication that there are about to break off their peace deal with israel. >> how pro-western do you think the direction of the next parliament will be? >> well, it will be quite a mixed parliament. the parliament does not choose the prime minister. we will have quite a wide range of parties. the system is really in transition. it will be quite a mixed bag. >> ok, the results from the of an egyptian elections.
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thank you. in other news, the british ambassador to iran says the authorities in tehran were behind the storming of british diplomatic compounds in the city earlier this week. the ambassador who took these photographs said that police stood back as demonstrators entered the british embassy. meanwhile, diplomats have left the country after the british government ordered the their expulsion. football 70 people have been wounded and one killed in a suicide bombing in eastern afghanistan. the truck bomb apparently targeted a military base used by international troops. most casualties were civilians. there has been a symbolic moment in the u.s. military withdrawal from iraq. the former military headquarters near baghdad has been headed to iraq control. camp victory was established in 2003 in the outskirts of the
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capital. at its peak, 50,000 u.s. personnel were based there. in burma, a key of the world's most influential women about to work together to implement reforms. hillary clinton and aung san suu kyi embraced on the final day of their visit. they promised a unified front in pressing for greater changes within the long isolated and authoritarian nation. our correspondent is traveling with the secretary and during the interview she talked about what it was like meeting aung san suu kyi face-to-face. >> it felt very familiar. i have followed her over the years. i have communicated with her directly and indirectly. it was like seeing a friend that you have not seen for a long time even though it was our first meeting. it was also incredibly
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emotional and gratifying to see her free from the many years of house arrest and to see her once again leading her party and standing for elections in this new democratic process they are trying to put into place. >it was a great honor and a delight. >> she found it quite positive, cautiously so perhaps, but positive about the path towards reform that the country seems to be embarking on. are you on the same page? >> i think it is important for those of us on the outside, whether we are in government or an ngo or a human rights activist to appreciate what it looks like from the inside. certainly, her perspective is that there are signs of change
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that there is a rhetorical commitment to reform. i think it is very wise of her to take advantage of that and do everything she can to support it. as in any transition, as this one could very well be, there are those that are pushing reform and there are those who are dead set against it and there are people in the middle who are trying to gauge which way they should jump. anything that can be done which legitimates the reformist tendencies should be in purview, validated and encouraged. but at the same time, you have to see continuing actions. this is not enough just to give a speech. there have to be a momentum behind reform and we are waiting and watching for that. >> secretary of state hillary clinton there. she is the first senior u.s.
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official to visit america in over 50 years. she was speaking to our colleague. if you want to hear more -- if you want to know more about the historic visit to burma, you can go to our website. you will find a report by our correspondent who is traveling with the secretary in burma. you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- live in large in russia. we have a special report on the rampant corruption taking a toll on the country. during the fight against colonel gaddafi's forces, many were seriously injured in libya. this man was among them that he was one of the lucky few who was brought to britain for treatment. his legs had to be amputated. now, with about 50 others, his progress is being closely
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watched. >> he did not come to britain expecting to lose a foot but he is coming to terms with his new prosthesis. he was shot three times the day tripoli fell two anti gaddafi forces. he fought alongside friends and strangers armed with a hunting rifle. the bullet exploded in his lower right leg shattering his bones. his surgery said that agitation was the best option. >> because of the blast injury, he had lost a lot of soft tissues all the way down and including his ankle joint. it was also clear that he had deep infection. you could see the status of the wound and smell the bacteria. >> he had his lower right leg removed the very day that colonel gaddafi was captured and killed.
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his therapist says he is making good progress. >> since the surgery, he can see that he is making progress and he will return to a fully independent life and be able to do the things he was doing before. >> when i left home, i was expecting even to die. this is a blessing from god and i believe in that. >> this week, we have been building up to the russian parliamentary elections which take place on sunday. the largest question is how many seats vladimir putin's ruling party will take. whatever the outcome of the poll, the skirt of corruption
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remains a major problem. when vladimir putin took over the presidency, he vowed to crack down on the oligarchs. today, it is corrupt civil servants taking a toll. >> in a moscow graveyard, the tomb of a young corporate lawyer who died in prison after a severe beating and months of neglect. he had been investigating a tax fraud of over 100 million pounds. the tax officials and policemen he accused of organizing it turned the tables on him and had him arrested. within the year, he was dead. if the tax officer who, approved the write off, her family became multimillion it -- became
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multimillionaires. she claims the money came from her husband's business their tax returns show a joint income of only 20,000 pounds. >> it is terrible. i don't know how these people live with themselves. they have no conscience and it is to come to talk -- it is difficult to come to terms with this. >> this epitomizes some of the biggest problems. out of control officials enriching themselves. >> outside of moscow, behind huge fences, dozens of secretive luxury estates have sprouted up. these 10 million pound houses should be out of the reach of public service but they are not. >> 30%-60% of the purchase of
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housing in russia are russian government employes. >> to ferry the new e tikrit around, thousands of luxury cars have been bought with taxpayer money. -- to ferry the new elite around, thousands of luxury cars have been bought. this is one of the few voices against corruption. >> our bureaucrats did not save any money. they spent a lot just for their luxury, just for their pleasure. >> the corruption it is spiraling because the parliament has become a toothless tiger. during this session on fraud, it was half empty and no one was listening. the deputies were running around coding on behalf of colleagues that had not turned up. -- of voting on behalf of
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colleagues that had not turned up. >> now to the face and voice of the national history broadcaster whose work is known worldwide. david attenborough's career spans six decades and now he's speaking out about the dangers of climate change. he has warned that the speed of change in the polar regions has implications for us all. >> the and arctic continental is smothered by the world's greatest ice shelf. >> they are the most remote and cold parts of the planet, the polar regions. after filming there over a number of years, david attenborough is convinced that they are changing dramatically. and >> this penguin is the most southerly nesting of all
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penguins. unlike -- and like the polar bear in the north, their life is dependent on sea life. >> here, a huge iceberg breaks away from green land. this does happen naturally but the mounting could accelerate if the arctic and part of antarctica continue to melt. when i met david attenborough, he said it was the speed of change that is where some. >> this change is happening extremely swift. we have seen this happening and this is in geological terms, in ecological terms, biological, this is huge. to adapt, you can adapt to a slow change. quick changes much more difficult. >> one of the great features of the antarctic coast, this ice
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shelf, is seen breaking up. if the crew films huge fischer's moving through it. this fits into a pattern of change. -- the crew films fissures moving through it. >> this could cause temperature increase. >> is there a risk of sounding too alarmist? >> i try not to. the fact is that these changes are happening. the evidence is incontrovertible. as far as we can see, if they go on, this will have a catastrophic effect. >> behind this concern is the lifelong passion for which he is best known -- wild life. his favorite bolar creature is quite surprising. -- polar creature is quite surprising. >> a caterpillar. a caterpillar that lists for 14
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years and is frozen solid it 14 times. it takes 14 years to accumulate enough food to allow it to turn into a moth. >> what about the future? scientists cannot be sure about the rate of melting. we do know that the distant regions that once seemed irrelevant field much closer to us now. -- feel much closer to us now. >> i could watch those images all evening. that brings this program to a close. you can get updates any time on our website. to see what we are working on, be sure to check our facebook page as well. for all of us here, thank you for watching. have a great weekend.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global strength to work for a wide
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range of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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BBC World News America
PBS December 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

News/Business. U.S.-targeted nightly newscast. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 8, America 6, Syria 6, Us 5, Gaddafi 3, Burma 3, David Attenborough 3, Newman 2, U.n. 2, Stowe 2, Caterpillar 2, Clinton 2, Honolulu 2, Moscow 2, Iraq 2, New York 2, Egypt 2, Britain 2, Washington 2, Russia 2
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